I’ve done several posts on how to improve your photography without spending a bunch of money (more are coming, I promise!), and to go along with that, I’m going to do a series of posts on editing your pictures without spending a bunch of money.
You can, of course, buy some picture-editing software like Lightroom or Photoshop, but those fabulous programs come with a fabulous price tag. Also, Photoshop is, shall we say, not the easiest program in the world to use.
At least, it seems not-easy to me!
So, we’re going to talk about all the things you can do do your pictures with Picasa, a free (woo!) picture-editing program from Google. Picasa is no Photoshop, but you can do an impressive number of things with it, and they’re all super easy. There are other free photo editing programs out there, like Picnik and gimp, but since I have the most experience with Picasa, that’s what I’m going to blog about.
Why should you bother with picture editing? Well, even if you’re pretty careful when you shoot, some of your pictures are bound to need a little help. Plus, sometimes just a little bit of tweaking can take a photo from boring to fabulous. I use Picasa for about 99.99% of the picture editing I need to do for the photos I use on this blog, so if you like what you usually see here, you should follow this series!
With Picasa, you can make pictures black and white….
or add a sepia tone.
You can crop them…
make collages (you can make much more creative collages than this…I just usually keep it simple with two photos!),
and much, much more.
To get your copy of Picasa, simply visit Picasa’s website and download the software. It’s very simple to set up and install…just follow the instructions. When you install Picasa, it should scan your computer for existing images and organize them into folders for you automatically.
I use Picasa whenever I unload pictures onto my computer. To do that, just plug your camera in to the computer or put your memory card into your computer’s card reader. A window should pop up asking what you’d like to do with your pictures, and all you have to do is click on “Use Picasa to import pictures.” That will take you to the import screen, and you should be able to just follow the instructions from there. Alternatively, you can open up Picasa and click on the Import button.
Though I use Picasa for a lot of my editing, I also find it to be a great tool for organizing and sorting through my pictures…much better than Photoshop, actually. Photoshop is a powerful editing tool, but it is a pain in the patootie for organizing and sorting.
So, if you haven’t already, go download and install the Picasa software so that you’re all ready to try out my tips. I’m really excited about sharing this series with you, because making your photos look great can be fun, easy, and free!